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Mormonism LIVE: 048: Mark Elwood & The Glass Looker

We sit down with author and Illustrator of the book “The Glass Looker”, Mark Elwood and discuss how he incorporated Joseph Smith’s Treasure Digging into a beautiful animated book. We discuss how he decided what to include and what impact he hopes this book has


How the Project Came Together –

Order the Book –

Mormon Discussion “168: Seer Stones, Folk Magic, and Alvin’s Hand” –

Mormonism LIVE !: 016: Peek Stones, Sheep’s Bones, and Gold Thrones all on Miner’s Hill –


3 thoughts on “Mormonism LIVE: 048: Mark Elwood & The Glass Looker”

  1. I really enjoy your Mormonism live podcasts! You and RFM are a good combo. I also wanted to say I appreciated that you hung up on the caller at the end who was going off about how Joseph Smith was a rockstar for all the ladies he had. I agree with you, it was super inappropriate and not something to look up to Joseph Smith for. I am grateful there are men like you in the world that are sensitive to that issue. Thank you for all you do!

  2. When the subject of “glass-looking” comes up too few realize the nature of how this scam technique works. Why would there be laws against glass-looking? It seems somewhat harmless. Here’s why the laws… A glass-looker blows into town. He stops at the tavern and let’s it be known that he he/she has special powers to find things, often “lost” things. So a farmer happens by. His horse disappeared just this morning. Probably wandered off. He can find it nowhere. Can the glass-looker see where it might be? The horse is valuable and must be found. What do you know? The Glass–looker, for a small fee, and a bit of theatrical glass-looking, announces the horse is “tied to a tree in some woods by a stream, by a large rock, just out of sight of a road.” Well, everyone there knows where a small stream and a rock etc. etc. is… Sure enough the horse is there! How did the glass-looker know? Well, dear listener, I’ll leave you to guess. Glass-looking was closely associated with theft of personal property. Period. That’s why the laws. Would you like to know more reasons why to prosecute it? How about hiding the horse on someone’s property? Perhaps a respectable person’s property… This crime spread community distrust – as well as being outright theft. By the way, I have the Glass-looker book (which doesn’t mention the above thoughts) and I recommend it. If for nothing else, than it’s excellent illustrations.

  3. I rarely see those who understand why there were public laws and ordinances against glass-looking. Let me describe the typical glass-looker scenario. A man comes into town. He stops at the local tavern. He lets it be known that, through his special powers, he can locate missing property for a fee. The word spreads, and sure enough, a farmer has just found he is missing a valuable cow. He pays his money and the looker dramatically sees in a vision through his glass that the cow is tied to a tree just out of sight in some certain woods – just past a bridge – etc. How can the glass-looker perform such a feat? (I guess you’ll have to guess…) BECAUSE HE PUT IT THERE! Glass looking was a type of extortion racket in most cases. It bred mistrust within the community. Perhaps the woods where the poor cow was found were on the Mayor’s property. What does this say about the Mayor? We look back at glass-looking and see it as a humorous pastime, but it was in fact, usually, simply theft.

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